Tag Archives: art

Pockets and Swimming In it

2 Dec

Sometimes it’s hard to even breathe with all the disastrous efforts attacking the  substance of our very own existence. You get so angry and enraged that you can’t even form sentences without profanity.

But sometimes there are moments of zen that give you an opening for happiness during the dark times in our country. Small moments that happen in your family, community, or city that make you breathe easier. I cling to these pockets of happiness. They give me hope that even though on a national scale my country is plummeting into the depths of disgrace and lining the pockets of big business and the rich, there are moments that can still bring positivism and light.

I’m a big fan of The Arts, most writers by nature are, but sometimes it becomes difficult to expose your kids to the world of art and all its dynamics. With budget constraints schools become a limited resource for artistic mediums. Most of the time you have to do it on your own, go to museums, or sign up for classes, or become a poor imitation of the amazing Bob Ross.

bob-ross-promojpg

🙂

He was awesome.

I make it a point to instill the exploration of science and the creativity of the Arts on weekends with my kids. I feel I’ve got to take a proactive approach in their learning development. And they seem to get a kick out of all the side projects. They’re confident, outgoing and bold with their ideas and opinions. So it surprised me when my youngest was a little hesitant to enter her work in the National Reflections Campaign organized by the PTA at school. I had my own reservations … you know how I feel about the PTA Mommy-and-Me Mafia. But art is art and I introduced her to this opportunity. My daughter wasn’t fond of the idea of people judging her work. I can totally relate to that.

What if I come last? She asked.

That was her biggest fear.

I said I didn’t care whether she came in last, what mattered was whether she enjoyed the process, whether she tried her best and enjoyed creating. I explained to her that a little courage goes a long way. She just needed to take a small step. That’s it. Not everyone is strong enough to take a chance on themselves, to believe in themselves, to submit something. Not everyone has the opportunity, so if you’re given one … take it!

Just a little bit courage goes a long way.

My son needed an extra push too, but nothing major. He seemed on board after I told him he could create a Lego Movie under the Film Production category. Lego and Movie. That’s all it took for him to find his bravery.  My daughter chose the Visual Arts category, and submitted her painting. She said she had a good time and that the use of glitter was a “awesome”.

They both used this year’s theme, “Within Reach”, differently as my son explained through his piece that Justice is Always Within Reach … whenever Batman is around. While my daughter explored Kindness is Within Reach through a dinosaur painting that sparkled with just the right amount of glitter.

Fast forward like four weeks and I get an email, two emails, informing me that both of my kids won first place in their respective categories for the entire school. Now they’re both off to the District Level judging.

Pocket of happiness. Right there. Swimming in it.

I was happy for them, really happy. But even happier because my daughter found her strength. She was brave enough to take a chance on herself, and believe. She learned that trusting herself and being courageous is a good thing.

That’s a happy mom moment right there. A huge pocket of happiness … The kind that gets me through rough days in this world. I was so grateful for courage that day.

Buen Camino my friends!

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

27 Apr
IMG_2432 (2)

🙂

 

To my four-year old daughter … this is pretty obvious … pretty concrete what she’s talking about and communicating here. However sometimes because of lack of sleep and parenthood in general, things tend to fall under the abstract category. But the sunlight shining behind the painting totally clues you into this masterpiece.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

25 May
Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall Display

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Visiting the Ronald Regan Presidential Library, we took a moment to appreciate the significance of this display. They had the real one behind contaminant-proof glass, but either way The Wall was something that definitely needed to be broken down.

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Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

19 Mar
Little Italy

Little Italy

Art is an amazing thing, helps you find beauty everywhere… this piece was found by my friend in NYC.

Weekly Photo Challenge via Daily Post

Don’t Worry About Making Mistakes … They Eventually Turn Into Something

28 May

 

:)

🙂

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

21 May

 

A kindergartener's work of art.

My son’s self-portrait

 

It doesn’t look like much to many people, but to me … it’s a work of art.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of the Daily Post.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beyond

21 Jan
Beyond ...

Beyond …

I don’t see it.

You have to really look at it.

I am looking at it.

There are dolphins in the ocean.

I don’t see anything.

You gotta focus. You gotta concentrate, and then sort of blur it out.

Dude that makes no sense.

Just focus.

I am focused. I’ve been focusing for ten minutes.

You can’t see the forest for the trees.

Dude I don’t know what the hell that means. Why do you buy a picture like that?

You have to look beyond the picture, beyond the painting. Look beyond.

I am looking beyond!

You’ll see it. Just keep looking. Beyooooooooooooooooooond.

Dude, I should break up with you for this.

Beyond …

Weekly Writing Challenge: Thinking Too Much and Guatemala

6 Sep

Everything I owned fit in a 10×10 storage unit. Smushed and stacked together in the dark, in not so neat piles. Nothing of serious material value to anyone other than myself. It’s being kept safe until we can find a bigger place to live — a place outside of my parent’s house.

But there is one item that I did not trust to leave in that concrete room protected by that Master lock. It may not be the most expensive item I own, but it is one of the most meaningful. If there was a fire and the place was up in flames I’d grab the photo albums, computer, and this item. It would definitely be in my hands.

Normally meaningful heirlooms are passed down from generation to generation, stuff like your great grandfather’s watch, or your great-great Tia Lola’s recipes. These are the treasured pieces — the priceless ones. However the only items I’ve inherited are a rare blood type, good dance moves, and nice feet.

But there are meaningful items that do remind me of family. Items I’d take with me in case of a fire. They don’t really do anything, they just sit there. But they are some of my most prized possessions.

This one happens to be one of them.

On my last trip to Guatemala I decided to travel with my dad. He’s of the adventurous spirit, so it made for an exciting and tiresome trip. And when you’re on trips like these you want to bring something home. Something memorable.

During one of our outings in the Central Market I came across this painting by Jose Antonio Pur Gonzalez. I had no idea who he was, but what he painted caught my eye.

My meaningful possession.

I’m not a painter, nor did I take art history in school, but it was something about this painting and I had to have it. The bright colors, the textures, the people. It spoke of my culture. It spoke of the coffee plantation we visited. It spoke of our trip. It spoke of Guatemala. It was like a page in my travel journal. But with all this speaking, I wasn’t sure about the price. I stood there contemplating and trying to negotiate with the seller. He wouldn’t go lower and I was worried to go higher.

My dad noticed this negotiation and looked at me.

“Do you like it?”

“Yes.”

“Is it worth it?”

“I think so.”

“If you leave without it, will you be thinking about it in the car, thinking about it on the drive, and thinking about it once we get home?”

“Yeah, but it’s a little bit too much.”

He grabbed the money from my hand, gave it to the seller, took out his wallet, paid the difference.

“That was too much thinking, ” he looked at me and smiled. “I’m very satisfied with your purchase. But don’t tell your mother or your sister how much we paid for it. It’ll be our secret.”

I hung it in my apartment, and every time I looked at this painting I thought about our trip. I thought about the Central Market. I thought about the negotiation process. I thought about my dad. If he wasn’t with me in that moment I might not have purchased my first piece of art. Art. I might have had an empty wall, or some print from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

And now, since he passed away, the value of this painting has increased, and the trip has become priceless.